Panathinaikos BC have released Sarunas Jasikevicius effective immediately. Of course this does not necessary mean that the Lithuanian super-star will be leaving Athens but is probably a tactical maneuver in order to convince him to lower his demands for a new contract.
Panathinaikos had the automatic option on Jasikevicius until Friday, June 18 to keep him. But that would mean Jasikevicius’ contract would be renewed for another year with the same wages (1.5 million euros), and because the negotiations between the two sides did not bring results in order to reduce the player’s demands, Panathinaikos broke the contract, in order to re-negotiate with the player and his agent from scratch.
Jasikevicius is willing to take a pay-check cut but is not willing to take anything less than 1 million euros for a season. On the other hand, Panathinaikos does not think that offering 1 million for a 10 minutes player is realistic in the current financial situation.
Both parts are expecting to sit together at the negotiating table soon, as Zeljko Obradovic has repeatedly asked from the club’s management to keep the player while Jasikevicius himself is reluctant to leave Athens as his Greek partner is expecting a child very soon, thus does not want to be unsettled.